Recently in Work Category

Thanks to an incompatibility between Parallels Desktop for Mac and our company proxy server I learned that this software is designed to phone home without the user's knowledge. What several folks have reported in online forums as an annoying behavior with this product is really the result of an attempted violation of privacy.

I'm not accusing Parallels of breaking any laws but based on my interactions with them while troubleshooting an issue I have little confidence that they understand why I am concerned.

I'm very happy to see that Peter Borg updated Lingon for Snow Leopard, which he's now distributing via the Mac App Store. I see on his blog, however, that his will be the only method of distribution for his product.

The early behavior of developers to embrace the Mac App Store as their exclusive distribution channel could be an Enterprise administrator's headache but I see it as the potential to be a much needed solution for the corporate environment like iTunes was for the music industry.

Yesterday, I posted this as part of a quick response to question on the MacEnterprise mailing list:

"At one point I though the Adobe Acrobat updates were not scriptable but Mr. Neagle found a way around that."

I later received a direct communication regarding my comment from someone on the Acrobat update/install team at Adobe explaining:

"I'm trying to understand what folks are doing for silent install in 9, hoping to make this better in the future."

Below is my response. Yep, it's long-winded but, frankly, this is such a huge problem that it warrants all the detail. Sadly, I'm not saying anything that hasn't already been said. I'm just adding my voice, adding my experiences and happy that someone's paying attention.

In my cube is a refurbished 24-inch iMac that I'm preparing to use for testing. We don't have many iMacs in-house but we're slowing migrating to them from the Mac Pros, which are more than we need.

iMacs are stylish and sleek, but I was cursing Apple's "design" this morning until I discovered they solved my problem before I had one.

curlzmt.jpgThe bartender says, "Get out! We don't serve your type in here!"

I'm going to put this on a cover page for a meeting I've called at work to explain font licensing to developers and managers. Below that it will say:

This is the funniest thing you'll ever hear about fonts. It all goes downhill from here.

A Yowsa! moment

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As part of re-inventing Frankenstein at work, I have to determine the best way to take an existing Mac with two Mac OS X 10.4.x partitions and upgrade it to two Mac OS X 10.5 or 10.6 partitions. Remotely.

Our project manager included this in her kick-off meeting invitation a week ago:

If implementation is scheduled to occur on 12/31/09, then we have 163 business days to do "everything" from today, 5/12. <reality check>

I support a Composition department that has a very complex workflow system. It's a combination of internal web servers for file storage and job-tracking, Macs running third-party applications, lots of custom-developed applications, lots of scripting and lots of managed preferences.

For the next several months, we'll be re-engineering this Frankenstein system that we developed for about $2 million four years ago and has generated over $100 million since then. The project's goal is to bring all software up-to-date so that we are poised to be able to transition to a different platform in a few years if management decides that's the best direction. My goal is to re-engineer what I put together four years ago, applying new technologies and knowledge that I've gained during that time.

Roll-out of the re-engineered system for about 90 Macs in two different countries (the U.S. and India) takes place over a weekend.

"Who cares? We're Adobe!"

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Yesterday our boss stopped by and was spreading the panic that someone in our security department started about the Acrobat 8.1.3 update. According to the release notes it addresses a number of vulnerabilities and Adobe classifies the update as "critical".

So, how do I apply this patch to about 100 Macs in our company? By hand.

My co-worker Robert has a brilliantly fast and accurate mind, which makes him perfect for his job as a software developer. I can ask in the most obscure UNIX question and he can answer me with exactly what I need. He has this uncanny ability to begin a story about something, diverge to other subjects for five minutes and somehow regain his train of thought and relate everything together.

While we were having lunch Wednesday I saw him getting distracted while telling one of his stories and then his eyes started to water a little as he struggled keep talking.

So, there I was...

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Standing in the men's restroom at work making small talk with our CEO. That's what guys do.

He asked me how things were going and I said, "It's Thursday!" After he chuckled a bit I said I couldn't wait until next week when I'll be attending a mini Mac MVP summit hosted by the MacBU at Microsoft. I explained that I'm getting to speak with the developers about the next version of Office for Macintosh.